|Venue: O2 Area, London Date: 15-22 November|
|Protection: Watch reside on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport web site and cell app; observe BBC radio and reside textual content commentary on-line on chosen matches|
High seed Novak Djokovic began his bid for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title with an aesthetic win over Argentine debutant Diego Schwartzman.
The 33-year-old Serb, who has not gained the occasion since 2015, eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory on the O2 Area in London.
In Monday’s night session, Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev earned his first ATP Finals match win by beating German fifth seed Alexander Zverev.
Medvedev misplaced all his group matches in 2019, however started with a 6-3 6-4 win.
The season-ending occasion is being performed behind closed doorways due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That has led to a flat and eerie ambiance on the close to 18,000-seat enviornment, that means London has been unable to wave farewell to the occasion – which strikes to Turin in Italy subsequent yr – like match organisers would have meant.
Nonetheless, the shortage of ambiance did little to disrupt Djokovic in what proved to be a high-quality efficiency.
Maybe there was a contact of nerves from the 17-time Grand Slam champion as he misplaced serve within the third recreation of the opening set, however he rapidly settled to interrupt straight again after which tighten his grip on the match.
Now hitting metronomically and shifting freely, Djokovic wore down Schwartzman’s service recreation once more for a 5-3 lead and held his personal serve to take the opening set.
On not with the ability to consolidate the break, Schwartzman mentioned: “It’s tough when you’ve got only a small probability towards Djokovic and you do not make that probability. I did fallacious issues and from then it’s a tough match.”
Schwartzman, 28, has loved a superb season in a disrupted 2020, reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final on the French Open in October and cracking the world’s prime 10 for the primary time.
Whereas his recreation is constructed on dependable hitting from the baseline and athleticism, it was not sufficient for the 5ft 7in Argentine to discover a well beyond Djokovic.
Schwartzman knew he needed to take some dangers to interrupt down Djokovic, however that translated into 10 unforced errors and simply 4 winners within the opening set.
Sustaining his degree and forcing Schwartzman into extra errors was made to look straightforward by Djokovic within the second set because the Serb broke twice for a 4-1 lead and went on to clinch an easy win in a single hour and 18 minutes.
“The second set I began swinging by the ball extra and with much less hesitation,” Djokovic mentioned. “I used to be very happy with the best way I performed.”
Medvedev picks up the place he left off in Paris
After a chastening expertise on his Finals debut final yr, Medvedev is hoping to acquit himself higher on his second look and made the right begin by matching Djokovic’s straight-set win in Group Tokyo 1970.
In fact, it was a gruelling and scrappy battle between the 2 gamers who contested final week’s Paris Masters remaining, with Medvedev outlasting the German to again up his victory within the French capital.
“Confidence is essential for positive, not solely the ultimate towards him however profitable a Masters at all times helps,” mentioned 24-year-old Medvedev, who faces Djokovic on Wednesday.
“It was a little bit bit shaky initially, however we had some unbelievable factors and the depth was some of the I’ve had in my profession.”
The opening six video games took greater than 40 minutes and contained 58 factors, nevertheless it was Medvedev who tipped the primary set in his favour – thanks partly to Zverev’s outdated failing of a weak second serve hampering him once more.
The 23-year-old German, who gained the 2018 Finals, broke within the very first recreation of the match, solely to lose his personal serve from 30-0 within the second after lacking seven successive serves.
Two extra double faults from Zverev in that sixth recreation proved pivotal and, because the match opened up within the second set after that prime octane begin, Medvedev broke once more for a 4-3 lead.
He held on to that benefit, even delivering an underarm serve that helped him win the purpose at 30-30 within the subsequent recreation.
“All in all, it wasn’t a superb match for me. I believe for the reason that restart of the season, it was one of many worst ones,” mentioned Zverev, who reached the US Open remaining in September.
Within the doubles, there have been opening wins for prime seeds Bruno Soares and Mate Pavic, and fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.
What’s taking place on Tuesday?
Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal meets Austrian third seed Dominic Thiem in Group London 2020 – a match you possibly can watch on BBC Two and the BBC Sport web site and app from 14:00 GMT.
Each gamers gained their opening matches on Sunday, that means Russian debutant Andrey Rublev and Greece’s defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas seek for their first wins once they play within the night session (20:00 GMT).
Britain’s Joe Salisbury and his doubles associate Rajeev Ram look to back up their winning start with one other victory once they face Croatia’s Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands at 18:00 GMT.